Stimulus confusion opens doors for scams

Consumers may be eager to get good news about forthcoming stimulus checks. Maybe too eager.

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs reports that stimulus-related scams are on the rise–and they are as clever as ever. In a South Carolina Radio Network series, SCDCA scam-watcher Charles Ellison describes a few of the most confusing ruses.

One involves an email with a picture of President Barack Obama , promising a check in an odd amount ($613.27 to thousands of dollars), if the reader participates in a survey and gives out personal information.

“And when you fork over information in today’s high-tech world, says Ellison, you’re essentially handing over your wallet.”

Another scam invites email readers to quick on links to purchase merchandise.

“And while they may not ask for personal information,” says Ellison,” they will require you to buy products–magazine subscriptions, iPods, etc. So the [product’s] company is not even aware of it. These scammers are trying to entice you with gifts in the hopes that down the road you will get a check, when that’s just not the case. The government doesn’t attach any federal money or state money to products.”